Insider Scouting Report: S Rashad Johnson

AZRedReport.com's Amberly Dressler caught up with BAMA Magazine's Kirk McNair, who is a daily Alabama beat writer, to get the scoop on rookie safety Rashad Johnson. How did he go from No-Star to All-Star? What's his character like? Does Johnson have any downfalls? How will Johnson fit in the Cardinals defensive scheme? Find out in this exclusive scouting report.

Safety wasn't an area of need for the Cardinals heading into the draft. That said, safety Rashad Johnson out of Alabama was somewhat of a surprise pick.

Kirk McNair from BAMA Magazine notes that the two other Alabama players who were drafted in the third round -- RB Glen Coffee by San Francisco and C Antoine Caldwell by Houston — were described as players taken by teams that didn't have a need at those positions either. Insurance and impassable talent is likely the culprit.

Johnson has much to offer the Cardinals. But McNair says one area he could improve is bulk. He played as a senior at about 187.

More with McNair…

There are about 12 daily beat writers who cover Alabama. I would guess that Rashad Johnson would rank first or second favorite among all the writers.

He is a great story and an excellent interview. He's serious, intelligent, and articulate.

His background is that he was not offered any major college scholarships, but he wanted to play for Alabama. He's from a small town, Sulligent, not too far from Tuscaloosa, and so he walked on as a running back. He was moved to safety and was an All-America as a senior.

Because he was not recruited, it was said he went from No Star to All-Star.

As a junior in 2007, he led the Southeastern Conference in interceptions with six. Last year he had five interceptions, including three in a crucial win over LSU in Baton Rouge. He had one interception which he returned for a touchdown against LSU, then in overtime made an interception in the end zone, paving the way for Alabama to win the game. He had 60 primary tackles (tops for the Crimson Tide) and 29 assists as a senior.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban has pointed out that in Alabama's 3-4 defense that safety is one of the most difficult positions to learn, and always had praise for Johnson.

He was a rare two-time captain for Alabama.

Johnson was unquestionably the "quarterback" of the defense, making the coverage calls and serving as the vocal leader. He was Academic All-Southeastern Conference.


Rashad Johnson
(Getty)


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